In-State vs. Out-of-State
If you’re lucky (and capable!) enough to secure admission to both in and out-of-state schools, you’ll find yourself faced with another dilemma in the seemingly never-ending college decision process. Which option is the better choice for you?
Tuition aside, you’ll want to devote heavy consideration to what type of environment and overall learning experience meets your needs. If you think you'll benefit from the challenge of taking on the unknown, going away to school can help you grow in confidence and independence in ways that can’t always be assigned monetary value. Aside from helping you prepare for future career success, the college experience is a critical part of the passage from adolescence and adulthood, and the forced independence that attending an out-of-state school requires can be an invaluable asset as you move forward with your adult life.
That being said, however, before you make your decision, try looking at in-state schools through different eyes. Don’t discount a particular school just because you feel you know it too well or it’s too close to your parents’ home. Remember, many students who attend an out-of-state school end up returning home before earning their degrees, and many students who attend in-state schools rarely see their nearby families. So, just because you stay closer to home doesn't mean you'll completely lose out on the opportunity to grow into an independent adult.
Attending college in your home state provides you with access to a support system that may be crucial to your college success. If you think that being closer to your family support system will enhance your college experience, you'll probably do better attending college in your state, especially if you're also trying to overcome learning differences or other difficulties.
The bottom line is, whether you attend an in or out-of-state establishment is hardly as important as whether you attend a school where you feel happy, comfortable, and challenged in your environment – wherever that may be.